I love a good TV. Which I should, since I've reviewed about a hundred of them. But I'm also an inveterate cheapskate. Heck, I took my now wife out on our first date with a buy-one-get-one-free coupon.
I feel like it's good to let a woman know that you're cheap right from the get go. If she's cool with BOGO FroYo, she'll be able to handle things well when you tell her you want to write for a living. Or when you're a broke intern living in Queens. Or when having kids returns you to college student-levels of poverty for a couple of years. But I digress.
I love a great deal more than just about anything. But a sweet bargain that also lands a premium TV in my living room? I am there. And so, I finally let the Black Friday deals frenzy of sales goad me into a purchase. Sort of. I let it goad Tom's Guide into a purchase.
The 55-inch LG C1 OLED debuted back in spring for $1,799. Today, as part of this month's Black Friday TV deals extravaganza, you can buy it for $1,299 at Best Buy. (And not just Best Buy, you can find similar prices at Amazon and elsewhere, but Best Buy has local pickup, which I wanted.)
55" LG C1 OLED TV: was $1,499 now $1,296 @ Amazon
This Amazon deal takes a generous $200 off the original price. The LG C1 is one of the best OLED TVs on the market, packing a powerful 9 4th-gen AI processor, a rich 55-inch 4K OLED display and support for AI voice assistants. (You can get a similar deal at Best Buy.)
Seeing the excellent prices on the LG C1 OLED — the 2021 successor to one of our favorite TVs ever, the LG CX OLED — I chatted with my boss to get the greenlight to have Tom's Guide get one.
"It's more affordable now than it's ever been!" I said, as I made my case to global editor-in-chief Mark Spoonauer for why Tom's Guide should buy yet another TV. He bought it, so Tom's Guide bought it, and that's how I got a sweet LG C1 OLED set up in my living room for testing. I'll get to use it for a couple of weeks, and Tom's Guide will get another TV review out of the bargain.
I've been eyeing the LG C1 OLED since it was first announced during CES earlier this year. With LG's impeccable OLED display, the C1 was always going to be a rock-solid premium TV. The technology delivers such an excellent combination of color quality and lighting control that the previous model spent months at the top of our best TVs page, and still has a prominent place on the list.
The C1 also gets an updated Alpha a9 Gen 4 processor, the latest version of LG's webOS smart TV software, HDMI 2.1 connectivity, a built-in ATSC 3.0 tuner, support for Dolby Vision IQ adaptive HDR, Dolby Atmos immersive sound, Nvidia G-Sync gaming and a smart TV experience that is both intuitive and broad-ranging. You get Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built in, for your choice of voice assistants.
But it's not the only LG OLED that's on sale right now. Just check out our best Black Friday OLED TV deals page to see for yourself. It's not even the only LG OLED on sale, and it's definitely not the cheapest. The entry-level LG A1 OLED is available for even less, so why didn't I pick that?
While I'll let our article LG A1 vs. LG C1: Which is the better Black Friday OLED TV deal? explore the point by point comparison, the bottom line this: I don't just want an affordable OLED TV, I want it to deliver the value that I know an OLED TV should give me. I want a premium experience, the whole package. The LG C1 OLED has it where the rising crop of budget-friendly OLED sets have to cut a few of the extras to deliver the lower price.
I'll be testing and reviewing the new TV in the next week or so — I am the TV editor, after all — but I don't need to have lab numbers and comparisons ready to know that this is an excellent TV.
I can already see the inky blacks that an LCD can't match. I can hear the room-filling sound. I can enjoy the improved remote control design. I can already see the rich colors and lifelike images that the 4K OLED display delivers. And when I spend some time gaming, I'm sure I'll love the 120Hz display and HDMI 2.1 features, as well.
The LG C1 OLED may not be the best OLED TV that LG makes. That distinction would probably go to the LG G1 OLED, which has a killer design and boasts enhanced OLED evo technology. But I have to say that, having it in my living room, the LG C1 is the better fit, and one of the best TVs I've looked at. Pair that with the great savings you can get for Black Friday, and that's a big win in my book.
Speaking of big wins, if you fancy a cocktail while your admiring your new LG OLED, then you should check out the new Drinkworks Home Bar Classic.